Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » Students » Current Students » Regulations » Graduate Academic Petitions

Graduate Academic Petitions

For students: Please login to our new graduate petition portal to create and submit your petition. The portal will prompt you to upload all mandatory forms and supporting documents with your petition application. We've created a step-by-step instruction guide (.pdf) to assist you with navigating the portal. In addition, the petition submission diagram (.jpg) offers a quick overview of the process.

For staff: Please login via graduate petition portal.

What is a Petition?

A petition is a formal request for a change to an anticipated academic pathway or a waiver of an academic regulation or deadline.

Every petition will, on its way to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, pass through the student’s graduate program director (GPD) for their recommendation. Graduate program assistants (GPAs) are knowledgeable consultants who can aid petition package preparation.

The purpose of academic regulations is to allow students to develop their interests and talents to the fullest in ways consistent with the policy of the Faculty. In establishing academic regulations, the Faculty also recognizes that instances will arise where it makes sense, in the context of a student’s academic career, to waive regulations that would otherwise apply. The purpose of an academic petition is to request an exemption from an academic regulation or deadline. Being unfamiliar with regulations or deadlines does not constitute a valid reason for an academic petition.

Academic petitions and appeals in the Faculty of Graduate Studies are governed by the Senate Guidelines for the consideration of petitions/appeals by Faculty Committees.

Petitions must be initiated within 12 months of an issue arising. Petitions on issues beyond the 12-month timeline will not be considered, except in truly exceptional circumstances.

Only in exceptional circumstances will a retroactive (before the start date of the current term) academic petition be considered and/or granted. Retroactive petitions must adhere to the 12-month time limit.

Please visit Regulations—Leave to Appeal for further information.

Currently, retroactive/manual petitions can not be submitted on the Graduate Petition Portal. Please complete a retroactive petition form found on the FGS Forms webpage and submit to the home graduate program.  

Important Note: Retroactive petitions that involve a change of registration status (from active to inactive) impact eligibility for funding and scholarships/awards.

Currently, diploma students can not submit petitions on the Graduate Petition Portal. Please complete a petition form for diploma students found on the FGS Forms webpage and submit to the home graduate program.  

Types of Petition & Their Requirements

Please see the types of petitions offered below. It is imperative to review the detailed information for the petition you wish to submit, as incomplete requests will not be processed.

Regulation:

Students who have withdrawn in good standing may petition for reinstatement to continue within three terms (12 months) following a withdrawal. After that time, students must normally apply for readmission rather than reinstatement. Reinstatement to continue in a program does not guarantee that funding will continue as outlined in the student’s original offer letter.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement

Regulation:

Students who have withdrawn in good standing may petition for reinstatement to complete in order to defend a thesis/dissertation or finish a major research paper at any time following their withdrawal, on the condition that the thesis/dissertation or major research paper is ready to proceed to defence or be completed. Students who have withdrawn in good standing may also petition for reinstatement to complete when a program is ready to conduct a degree audit and recommend convocation. Such petitions must include evidence of support from the supervisory committee and graduate program director, who must confirm that the thesis/dissertation is ready to proceed to defence or that the student has satisfied all degree requirements and simply needs to reinstate to complete.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement

– Evidence of oral exam booking if an oral defence is required for completion

or

– Other evidence (from graduate supervisor or Graduate Program Director, etc) that illustrates that any outstanding degree requirements will be satisfied within one term. (Up to 12 months if revisions are requested as an outcome of the oral examination).

Regulation:

Extension of program time limit and/or priority pool entitlement requests may be made related to CUPE 3903 service, disability/illness/injury, or for grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code, as specified in the CUPE 3903 Unit 1 and Unit 3 Collective Agreements.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement (describing the impact of past life circumstances on the rate of academic progress.)

– Timeline detailing completion plan

– Support statement from supervisor confirming completion timeline

– Other supporting documentation (examples- medical letter, Student Accessibility Services letter, CUPE Executive Service letter, etc).

Regulation:

Any non-CUPE 3903 petitions for program extension will be considered for part-time status.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement (describing why additional time is required for completion.)

– Timeline detailing completion plan

– Support statement from supervisor confirming completion timeline.

Regulation:

After one term with an Incomplete (‘INC’) designation in a course, students whose work is still not complete can, with the Course Instructor’s permission, petition for a further extension to a new due date. The extension will not normally be for more than one term. Information on the designation of ‘INC’ and relevant timelines is available at Grade Reports. Please visit Important Dates for applicable course extension (for incomplete coursework) deadlines in the academic year.

Process Information:

A petition for a course extension is only initiated after one term has elapsed beyond the term that the course was taken in. Note that a student must be registered in the term of the approved extension. For example, a 3.0 credit course taken in the fall term that is incomplete can be petitioned in the summer term. Prior to that, a completion plan should be arranged with the course director and Graduate Program using the Course Transaction Form, Please submit this form to your home graduate program office.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement

– Confirmation from the course instructor or program representative detailing acceptance of course work and timeline for completion.

Regulation:

Students may withdraw from a course by the posted drop deadline (i.e. the last date to drop courses without receiving a grade). Students requesting to drop a course beyond the posted drop date for a term can petition to drop the course. A ‘W’ (withdrew in good standing) will be recorded in place of a grade to indicate that a student was authorized to withdraw in good standing from a course.

Information on the designation of ‘W’ and relevant timelines is available at Grade Reports.

Please visit Important Dates for applicable course drop (withdrawal) deadlines in the academic year.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement

– Supporting document from the course director or program designate indicating whether the final grade was earned or the result of incomplete work. (A petition for withdrawal in a course where a student completed the coursework and earned the resulting grade will ordinarily be denied unless a student has retaken the course and earned a better grade).

– other supporting documentation to support the request (examples- medical letter, Student Accessibility Services letter, etc).

Regulation:

Students may request transfer credit (advanced standing) for graduate-level courses completed at York University or another institution that have not been used to fulfill the requirements of another degree program or graduate diploma.

Information on applicable conditions is available at Transfer Credit (Advanced Standing).

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement

– Transcript (showing the course to be transferred)

– A description of the course previously taken that was not used to towards a prior degree

– Information about the credit equivalencies from the prior institution, if credits were taken outside of York.

– In their recommendation, the GPD should indicate which York degree requirements (required or elective) are being met by this transferred course.

Regulation:

In rare circumstances and with the approval of the Graduate Program Director, students may petition to substitute a degree requirement and replace it with an equivalent alternative to fulfill the degree requirement of the program or graduate diploma.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement

– Transcript

– A description of the course previously taken.

– Information about the credit equivalencies from the prior institution if credits were taken outside of York. (For example, if a student has taken a course that counted toward another degree, and it is deemed to be equivalent to a York degree requirement, they do not have to retake that course. However, they do need to meet the required numerical course total for their York degree without double-counting the course).

Regulation:

Students may use this petition type to request something that does not fit in the petitions listed above. 

Additional Information:

The Other petition category is used for requests that pertain to specific academic regulations but are not covered by any of the explicit petitions described here. Some academic transactions are not petitionable or appealable (e.g. admissions decisions, program withdrawals for failure to make academic progress, or outcomes of thesis and dissertation exams). If you are considering submitting an “Other” petition, we recommend consulting with your program first, who may connect with FGS Student Affairs staff prior to the submission.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement

– Other relevant documentation to support your request.

Leave of Absence Petitions

What is a Leave of Absence / Regulation

The requirement of continuous registration supports students toward the timely completion of their studies. However, the university recognizes that from time to time students may need to be absent from their studies while maintaining an affiliation with York University. While on leave, students are expected to be away from activities as graduate students (activities such as attending classes or completing incomplete work from previous terms, research work, access to the university’s facilities and resources). Students should not expect to receive feedback related to academic progress, including communication regarding supervision or course/research work. While on leave, students are not eligible to receive awards or other funding-related payments. Students should also be familiar with leaves of absence policies from applicable award granting agencies to ensure they do not conflict with their planned leave at the university. Except in truly exceptional circumstances, retroactive leaves cannot be granted. Students must have begun their first term of study in order to request a leave of absence.

Regulation:

A General Leave of Absence is available to students who need to be absent from their studies. Students can take a maximum of 3 terms of a General Leave of Absence over the course of their studies. Students do not pay tuition or receive funding or awards during a leave.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement

– Other document supporting the need for a leave

Regulation:

A Family Care Leave of Absence is available to students for whom significant care-giving responsibilities of a family member require the student to be absent from their studies. Leaves considered under this category include those arising in relation to: pregnancy; the birth or adoption of a child; and providing care and support for an ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent or other family member. Students can take a maximum of 5 terms of a Family Care Leave of Absence over the course of their studies. Students do not pay tuition or receive funding or awards during a leave.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement

– Other document supporting the need for a leave.

Regulation:

Students in coursework-only programs of study may petition for a No Course Available Leave of Absence if no suitable course is offered in any given term. In exceptional circumstances, other students who are unable to make meaningful progress towards completion of degree requirements, other than by taking a course, may petition for No Course Available if no suitable course is available in any given term. This provision does not apply if a student is registered as working on a thesis/dissertation or a major research paper, or has a designation of ‘INC’ recorded for a course at the end of the previous term. Students do not pay tuition or receive funding or awards during a leave.

Required Forms/Documents:

– Personal Statement

– Other documents supporting the need for a leave.

Need Support?

If you are currently not an active student, or if you are unable to submit a petition, please email our Student Affairs Coordinators